FOIMan’s early Christmas present to you. A ready reference chart of FOI deadlines over the festive season.

foiman-santaWith so many Bank Holidays over the Christmas and new year period, it is easy to lose track of when responses to requests are due. Here’s my early Christmas present to FOI Officers and requesters alike – a handy ready reckoner.

Note that due dates take account of ALL UK Bank Holidays – a loophole in the Act means that Scottish Bank Holidays for example are not technically working days even in other parts of the UK, even if the authority is open for business on that day. Requesters should also note that many public authorities close for longer periods over the festive season, so whilst this doesn’t affect due dates, it is likely to reduce the likelihood of an early response.

And as it’s Christmas, bear in mind that staff absences, Christmas dinners, etc can make it especially difficult for public authorities to meet deadlines, so maybe allow a few extra days before grumbling… it is the season of goodwill after all!

Request received Response due Note
November December
17 16
18 17
19 18
20 19
21 22
24 23
26 29
27 30
28 31
December January
1 5 1 December is a bank holiday in Scotland – does not count as a working day
2 5
3 6
4 7
5 8
8 9
9 12
10 13
11 14
12 15
15 16
16 19
17 20
18 21
19 22
22 23
23 26
24 27
29 28
30 29
31 30
January February
2 2 2 January is a bank holiday in Scotland – does not count as a working day
5 2
6 3
7 4
8 5
9 6

Note: public authorities are responsible for ensuring that they meet statutory deadlines – this is just my calculation of when I think due dates fall and I accept no responsibility or liability for authorities’ failure to meet obligations under the Act. Please do let me know though if you notice any errors with this guide and if I agree I will amend it.



  1. Hi, I think that the Time Limit for both the 1st December and the 2nd January are wrong as it would appear that they are the same time limit for the day following them.

    Mary Cooper
    1. Hi Mary, my view is that as 1st Dec and 2 Jan are bank holidays in Scotland this means that whilst physically the request is received that day, the day of receipt is technically the next day. This is why they have the same dates as the day following. I’m aware that some think this isn’t the correct interpretation, but I think it is open to debate – I’m not aware of a decision that specifically addresses this point.
      Thanks for commenting,

Comments are closed.